Joint Opinion 90-95, 90-113 and 90-115

September 18, 1990

Please Note: While the outcome of this opinion remains unchanged, former section 100.5(d) has been superseded by 22 NYCRR 100.4(E)(1).  Full-time judges, in particular, should be careful to review the current rule. 

Digest: Part-time judges may serve as executors of estates.

Rules: 22 NYCRR § 100.5 (d).


         Several part-time judges inquire whether it is permissible for them to serve as executors of estates for clients or relatives.

         Section 100.5 (d) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides that “no judge, except a judge who is permitted to practice law, shall serve as the executor, administrator, trustee, guardian or other fiduciary designated by an instrument executed after January 1, 1974, except for the estate, trust or person of a member of his or her family . . . .”

         Under this section, a part-time judge, lay or otherwise, may serve as a fiduciary, including for strangers as well as for persons with whom the judge maintains a close familial relationship. In contrast, full-time judges may serve as fiduciaries only for family members and for people with whom the judge maintains a close familial relationship.